The Carter Center helped Mauritania mobilize its resources to wipe out Guinea worm disease in just five years.
Current Status: Transmission stopped, June 2004 (Read the announcement)
Certification of Dracunculiasis Elimination: 2009
When Mauritania established a national Guinea Worm Eradication Program in 1995, five regions were endemic: Assaba, Gorgol, Guidimaka, Brakna, and Tagant, with 122 villages reporting a national total of 1,240 cases. By the following year, only Assaba, Gorgol, and Guidimaka remained endemic.
To traverse the deserts and reach isolated and remote areas, health workers rode camels, horses, and donkeys to implement their monthly training and case reporting activities. In 1996, the government of Japan agreed to provide 200 wells in endemic areas of the country. Mauritania reported its last indigenous case in June 2004, and after 12 consecutive months with zero cases, disease transmission was considered stopped.
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Size: 1,030,700 square kilometers
Population below poverty line: 40 percent
Life expectancy: 63 years
Ethnic groups: black Moors (Haratines), white Moors (known as Bidhan), black Africans (non-Arabic speaking, Halpulaar, Soninke, Wolof, and Bamara ethnic groups)
Religions: Muslim (official)
Languages: Arabic (official and national), Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof (all national languages), French
Source: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook 2016